Until very recently, a major blog could go down for hours - and sometimes even days - without causing a major hubbub. In most cases a "We're back, my hosting provider sucks!" post would mark the extent of the damage. That's changed recently, as blogs are taking note of one another's downtime. Why the change? Competitiveness between blog networks appears to be a factor, as growing networks take the opportunity to note their own reliability while gently laying the smack down on a competing network.
First there's Paul Scrivens of 9rules fame noting that Uptime Is Vital, while noting a less-than-vital malfunction at Performancing, which was temporarily displaying a MySQL error rather than insightful posts about blogging for profit. "Find a decent web hosting solution that offers 24/7 support, backups and some sort of uptime guarantee," Scrivs advises, noting the need to "be sure the mysql max user connections setting is raised high!" If he'd really been out to slam Performancing, he would have noted that the MySQL error displays path information that could be useful to hackers. (Turn those error messages off, guys!).
Then there's another Friday post from John at Syntagma Media, conspicuously noticing that B5 Has Major Server Issues. John says uptime is "probably the most important thing to get right if you're running a professional service that people come to rely on" but is sympathetic to Jeremy Wright's Quest for New Server Company for the fast-growing B5 Media (which also has sharpened up all its designs and looks great these days).
It's a good thing John didn't take B5 to the woodshed too severely, because by Monday he was blogging about Syntagma's Primary Hard Drive Failure that took four of his network's blogs offline. "This highlights what I was saying here a few days ago about server problems and how you need to build professional failsafe mechanisms," he writes, while stopping to mention Paul Short's November data disaster that wiped out the entire BlogLogics network (without a backup).
Which naturally led Matt over at Blog Network Watch to file a tongue in cheek "Hey Pot, I'm Kettle" post, in which he catches John's downtime just days after John noticed Jeremey's downtime ... well, you get the picture.
Where will all this downtime blogging end? Well, not here. But then again, hosting reliability and uptime are the primary focus of Data Center Knowledge. Don't worry folks. It could always be worse. Only a few blogs got clobbered for a few hours. You could be TypePad.